The shop came to national attention after the owners refused to bake a cake in support of same-sex marriage.
The Ashers bakery in Central Belfast that refused to bake a cake in support of same-sex marriage is closing down as the company’s managers said that the branch wasn’t “busy enough.”
In 2014, the owners of the store were taken to court for refusing to bake a cake in favour of same-sex marriage as it went against their religious beliefs. An initial ruling ruled in favour of gay rights activist Gareth Lee, however, the owners of the store went through several appeals until they got to the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the bakers.
Announcing the ruling, Lady Hale said: “It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristic.
“But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”
She added: “The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.
“Accordingly, this court holds that there was no discrimination on the ground of the sexual orientation of Mr Lee.”
However, despite the ruling in their favour, the store is now going to close. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the general manager of Ashers, Daniel McArthur said: “It simply comes down to the figures.
“We decided not to renew the lease. Belfast city centre isn’t busy enough – our other shops are much busier.”
He added: “It’s been planned for some time, and I am pleased to say there will be no job losses.”